[eDebate] potential wording paper: first amendment vs national security

J T jtedebate
Thu May 11 11:29:46 CDT 2006


Pacedebate at aol.com wrote: ...right now I'm just looking for some feedback on the area  and the structure.... 
 Resolved: that the United States Supreme Court should rule an act of the  executive branch/congress unconstitutional specifically holding that the  first amendment should take precedence over national security  concerns.
  
HERE'S THE PROBLEM:  good luck on finding SOLVENCY ADVOCATES for these rulings...Now in certain areas, like the HS topic this year, there are a few...but why rehash all the HS cases (as in some of the examples in the list below)?  Many of us coach and cut cards on the HS topic and that still doesn't speak for incoming frosh...and there are better ways to address some of the same issues...EVEN SO, I am willing to bet those advocates do not cover the full extent of A) SC should rule, B) that ruling be on an exec/congressional act, C) 
That's the problem with including too many actions in the text....so the wording will have to change substantially.

Executive/Congressional acts should be within the flexibility of AFF ground...many rulings will affect these acts anyway...
"National Security" is a subset of "law enforcement"....to support a topic for the entire year, it would be HOMELAND SECURITY...no areas outside of that...the 1st amendment rights being sacrificed are FROM homeland security initiatives....makes the HS topic an inevitable repeat! (see Tim's list below as evidence for this)...at best, they would be different internal links (1st not 4th amendment) to all the same args

This overly restricts the scope of "1st Amendment" within Supreme Court literature...again...only homeland security!  How about prayer in school, flag burning, excitable speech, student freedom of the press, etc?  The supreme Court has discussed all of these over the last few years.

I say just "increase 1st Amendment protections"...allows for aff flexibility, limited because there's only so many 1st amendment rights (among other ways), and will bring up issues we don't debate and hear ALL THE FRICKIN' TIME!


 Potential aff areas:
  
 computers (carnivore/pen register, cryptography, website regulation,  shutter control) I just fell asleep!

 terrorism/terror talk/securitization (patriot act library/terrorist  organization provisions, wiretapping, open trials/media access, use of  secret evidence)...I just died a little bit

 religion (in the military)---how about society?

 immigration (creppy directive, use of secret evidence)  this is overly restrictive....if you want to talk about immigration....and that would be a good thing....there are SC decisions that could be overturned...

 dissent good the first amendment makes it possible, national security  quelches it   there are better ways to discuss the bugger picture of 1st Amendment threats

  academic freedom.....GOOD area

 Freedom of Information Act ...ahh more privacy args...please no!

  
Negative: agent counterplans, different grounds counterplans, national  security DA's, rights triv, all the bad court da's are unique in this context,  

  
All of this is true of a non-national security version...while some issues are inevitably discussed...perhaps we should go beyond what's in the newspaper and look at something other than homeland security...and let's be honest..."national security" in this day and age IS "homeland security"....and HS just did that topic...even if it is soomewhat inevitable, it doesn't mean all the other issues that truly affect people on a daily basis should not be discussed.  Using "National Security" alone in the context of the 1st amendment is the same tactic the Bush administration uses to brush aside politically controversial issues like religion, health, election fraud, etc....yes, we should debate Gore V. Bush!

 
EVEN IF YOU THINK OL' JT IS JUST WRONG....these issues could be discussed under the "Law Enforcement" topic I've suggested elsewhere...it could be combined with Harrison's "plenary power" suggestion as well....

 Here are some things someone posting to the blog said might be  important:
  
 Narrow topics
 Five years ago I would have never supported a topic that gave the aff this  much wiggle room. But the neg is doing just fine these days despite the fact  that for some teams/squads the resolution is just a way for them to win debates  because T is genocide.
 where was i...oh yeah, this resolution gives the aff a LOT of flexibility  but the neg has some pretty good options. The rights triv argument might be  worse than the court DA's BUT coupled with an equal protection counterplan or  privacy cp or just have congress/the executive branch do the plan the neg  doesn't need a good DA to win. Aff teams that stray too far from core first  amendment justifications will/should often lose to these counterplans. A nice  bonus is that the grounds counterplans have a good literature base. 
 If there is a massive uproar that this topic is too big I could produce a  narrow version but I don't think it would win.
  
 Uniqueness 
 even the marginally competent neg should be able to win uniqueness that the  courts consistently ignore the first amendment whenever the government whispers  national security. 
  
 Liberal bias
 the aff gets to say the government is jacking our civil liberties in the  name of a phantom quest to create national security.
  
 timely
 see aff list above - if the aff wants to engage material from the front  page of today's newspaper they can.
  
 T
  
 P.S. The blog has some good stuff on it. It helped me clarify what I  thought my wording should look like and I suspect anything you like about the  resolution I've created really came from something stolen from the blog. 
  
 P.S. #2 The plenary power literature referenced in Lindsay Harrison's post  could make for a sweet topic - if someone isn't working on a paper in that area  they should be.
  
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JT

Asst. Debate Coach
Emporia State University
		
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